Saturday, May 04, 2019

Man was that surreal

The other night I was watching “Vice” which pleased and surprised me much more than I was expecting. Yes it’s another one of those “make up” movies but Christian Bale filled his fat suit and jowls really well and nailed it as the still walking this earth monster Dick Chaney. Meanwhile in the oval office another fat suit with jowls takes up valuable space. The problem with these bio pics is that they tend to make nice with these creeps; Dick was such a good dad.  Instead of putting these creatures on trial and in jail for crimes against humanity Hollywood turns out fun movies and comedy skits about them. Suddenly as I was laughing on the other side of my face, as my mother use to say when I was acting up “Ira Joel you’ll laugh on the other side of your face if you don’t behave, I started to think of surrealism and how often that art movement is brought up in our everyday lives. Was “Vice” surreal? No of course not. It was a farce, smart and sassy and rooted in recent crappy reality. It was more like real sur, than surreal. I had also just seen the very good and surprisingly poignant documentary about the queen bee of surrealism Ms. Peggy Guggenheim so my thoughts started to play games with art movements especially the one that has been hijacked by all those stupid celebrities
who use it over and over when they are picking up an award or posing for selfies on the red carpet.

      How many times have we heard them say “wow this is so surreal as they thank this one and that one, and look upward to the top of the auditorium and with tears in their eyes and on their cheeks thank and bless their long gone grandmas’ and pops’ who are floating around up there looking down on them. I hear the term surreal more and more as I flip through the crap that passes for entertainment these days on the tube, especially on the big network channels. On those dopey so you think you have talent and think you can dance shows with tacky has been hosts who get me nauseous, you often hear the contestants howl out that this is such a surreal moment, as if they know about the movement and the differences between Max Ernst and Magritte let alone even know who they were. Even the New York Times is getting in on the Surreal moment using an Yves Tanguy painting in one of their op-ed pieces a week or so ago. Guess they ran out of anti-Semitic cartoons to use.  The non-celebrities use surreal with as much frequency as the “you know” phrase “you know”. These twits probably think Andy Warhol is a surrealist. Personally I find everything these days to be more Dada than Surreal. I find myself having Abstract Expressionist moments a lot along with some Arte Povera experiences mixed in. Like you know on the nightmare in black and white subway trips I have to take to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan  I sit there and think this is so Arte Povera or this is such a Pattern and Decoration moment I’m feeling as we pull into the Union Square Station and all the cubist looking people rush here and there to get on with their lives knocking into me with minimalist abandonment.     


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